W is for Writing Master
By BLAND, Thomas , 1717

Bland, Engraver and Printer... From Snow Hill.

  • Author: BLAND, Thomas
  • Publication place: London
  • Publisher: The corner of the Strand, Facing Temple Barr
  • Publication date: 17th June 1771
  • Physical description: Etched trade card.
  • Dimensions: 85 by 115mm. (3.25 by 4.5 inches).
  • Inventory reference: 17809


Trade cards in the Heal Collection record two separate addresses for Bland, first as here, then subsequently at 39 Ludgate Hill. Heal writes: “Thomas Bland, engraver of copy books. He published ‘Bland’s Round Text Copies’ c1790. Written & Engraved by Thos. Bland. See Heal’s ‘English Writing Masters & Their Copy Books’ p:195”

The bucolic pastoral scene “from Snow Hill” is fanciful, even for January 1771. The street, off Farringdon, near Smithfield, was known during Henry III’s reign as “Snore Hylle”, and is either named after a Scandinavia trader called “Snorro”, who lived there; or from the Celtic word “snuadh” meaning a brook; or because of the winding nature of the street, depending on what you believe. It was the location of the Saracens Head inn from the reign of Richard the Lionheart… and thereby hangs another tale.


  1. BM Heal 100.176